Campus Quality

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Campus Quality


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5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: The most beautiful libraries ever!

1 person found this useful Report
5 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Each faculty has their own pub night on campus!

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Campus Quality: Lots of variance in the quality of the facilities.

4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: McGill offers a huge variety of social opportunities for students, including hundreds of student-run clubs and organizations. Events thrown by student councils, clubs, and McGill Faculties range from Academic meet-and-greets with professors to wild and crazy social parties.

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Sophomore

Campus Quality: As a huge university with a good reputation, McGill offers something for everyone--if you're willing to put in the necessary effort to find what you're looking for.

1 person found this useful Report

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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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McGill has a very large campus, student body-wise, but a relatively small campus facility-wise. Almost all of the buildings circle around a good-sized quad, which makes going from class to class much easier and helps the large school feel much smaller. This setup, however, limits the amount of buildings and venues the campus can fit. The gym is pretty small considering the student body numbers exceeds 20,000. The William Shatner Student Centre, besides being humorously named after our Star Trek alum, is the only student center on campus, and is the headquarters of the SSMU (Student Society of McGill University). Clubs have most of their offices in this building, and right next door are services, such as the health clinic and financial aid office. On the first and second floors, there is a not half-bad food court and study lounge that is very popular with students living off campus in between their classes. The basement houses Gert's pub, the only on-campus bar, and the organic food co-op.

The thing is, one of the main reasons why McGill doesn't have that many services is that it doesn't need to. After first year, everybody moves off campus. What McGill does not have you can surely find in the neighborhoods surrounding it. There are tons of coffeeshops, convenience stores, and restaurants offering cheap lunch specials and student discounts. Like most universities that are located in the heart of large cities, the city picks up the slack for whatever is lacking in the school. More facilities would definitely be an improvement on the campus, but expanding downtown is probably not feasible, and not really necessary, given all that the city has to offer.

Facts & Statistics

Campus Size
80 acres Downtown Campus, 1600 acres Macdonald Campus
Student Centers
The University Centre a.k.a. William Shatner Student Centre
Main Libraries
  • Birks Reading Room (Religious Studies)
  • Howard Ross Library
  • Islamic Studies Library
  • Macdonald Campus Library
  • Marvin Duchow Music Library
  • McClellan Library of Humanities and Social Sciences
  • Nahum Gelber Law Library
  • Red Path Library
  • Schulich Library of Science and Engineering
Popular Places to Chill
  • Caferama
  • The Food Court
  • The green (in nice weather)
  • Lower Field
  • McGill Bookstore Café
  • Oasis Café in Red Path Library
  • SSMU Lounge in University Centre
  • The steps of the Arts Building
  • The steps of the Red Path Museum
Bar on Campus
Gert's in Shatner University Centre
Bowling on Campus
Coffeehouse on Campus
The McGill Bookstore Café
Movie Theater on Campus
Screening Room: Cultural Studies Building, 3475 Peel Street
School Slang
  • First-year, Second-year, Third-year, Fourth-year: McGill doesn't use terms like freshman or sophomore, they identify by year.
  • Frosh: McGill's orientation for first year students; bonding/drinking activities held the first week before school starts
  • The Ghetto: The area east of campus inhabited predominantly by students
  • Kraft Dinner: What Canadians call Kraft Macaroni and Cheese; a student dietary staple
  • Marks: Grades
  • Pre-drink: The Canadian term for "pregame"
  • Reading Week: McGill's spring break that usually occurs at the end of February
  • Rez: Short for residence, what McGill students call dorms
  • RVC: Royal Victoria College, the all-girls dorm
  • SSMU: The acronym for the Students' Society of McGill University, acts as a sort of student government/union (pronounced "smoo")
  • Upper Rez: The dorms on the hill
  • Write Exams: Take exams
  • Carnival: At the beginning of the winter semester, Arts, Science, and Management each put on their own faculty carnival. Students form teams to participate in a week of scheduled drinking events and debauchery. Management Carnival is notoriously insane, and with your deposit you receive a "puke suit" - decorated coveralls.
  • Frosh: At the end of August, McGill welcomes its newest class to a week of debauchery in Montréal. There are three different Froshes to engage in: faculty frosh, SSMU frosh, and Radical frosh. First are the faculty froshes, which are put on by each of the individual faculties. SSMU Frosh follows the specific faculty frosh and is open to everyone. Froshies play drinking games on the campus lawn, then go on endless pub crawls led by upperclassmen. This is McGill's idea of orientation. Rad Frosh is the socially conscious alternative. Instead of getting wasted on lower field, froshies get proactive, attending panel discussions, loft parties, tours, and workshops that address current social issues.
  • Open Air Pub: At the beginning of the fall semester, and the end of the winter semester, McGill has OAP with live music, cheap beer, and food on the lawn.
  • Reading Week: Don't be fooled by its name, this week of vacation is not study time. It is McGill's version of spring break and usually occurs at the end of February. Wealthier Canadians usually leave their American friends behind and escape to Cuba.
  • Ski Trip: Every January there is a weekend trip to Mount Tremblant that many students go on. There are also other ski weekends at different mountains, like Mount Ste-Anne, but Tremblant is by far the most popular.
  • St-Sulpice: Last day of classes, tons of people head to St-Sulpice, a bar with a great terrace to hang out before starting the summer.
Urban Legends
There is a tunnel that connects the main campus to the residences on the hill.
Favorite Things To Do
Eat biscotti while browsing through the bookstore; split a pitcher with some friends at Gert’s; play Frisbee on the lawn; learn kickboxing, ballet, or belly dancing at the gym; see a guest lecturer; or get cheap ice cream at Frostbites and lounge on the lawn. There is always something to do on campus. Because of the nearly infinite amount of clubs at McGill, there is at least one film screening, panel discussion, meeting, or fundraiser going on somewhere every day of the week. For those who don't feel like getting quite as involved, there are plenty of places to just hang out. There are numerous lounges around campus and in nice weather Lower Field is the place to chill and run into everyone you know or make new friends. At the beginning of each semester there are beer tents (OAP in fall and SnowAP in winter) that offer cheap beer and food on the field in the center of campus.
Student Activities Offered
  • Campus ministry
  • Choral groups
  • Concert band
  • Dance
  • Drama/theater
  • International student organization
  • Music ensembles
  • Opera
  • Pep band
  • Radio station
  • Student government
  • Student newspaper
  • Student-run film society
  • Symphony orchestra
  • Television station
  • Yearbook
Did You Know?
  • McGill has a small system of underground tunnels connecting various buildings on campus. These make it possible to go to all of your classes and even stop at the library without ever having to step outside.
  • In 2007, SSMU passed a motion to recognize a number of buildings on campus under Star Trek-themed names in order to emphasize their devotion to William Shatner.

Student Polls

Rate the campus facilities in the following areas    Based on 29 responses

Very poor
  • Athletics/recreation
  • Classrooms
  • Computer labs
  • Dining
  • General aesthetics/architecture of campus
  • "Green" buildings/initiatives
  • Housing
  • Lawns/green space
  • Library
  • Modernity of facilities
  • Performing arts
  • Science/research labs
  • Student center
  • Study spots
  • Visual arts (work spaces, galleries)

What are your favorite campus events or traditions?    Based on 7 responses

  • 25% Frosh
  • 25% Open Air Pub
  • 12% Reading Week
  • 12% Carnival
  • 8% St-Sulpice
  • 4% Ski Trip
  • 4% McGill-Queens Hockey Game
  • 4% Greek Week
  • 4% Hype Week

What are your favorite things to do around campus?    Based on 6 responses

  • 21% Hike mont royal
  • 21% Try new cafes and restaurants
  • 16% Tam tams
  • 11% Shop
  • 11% Explore the city
  • 5% Blues Pub
  • 5% Ice-skating
  • 5% Open Air Pub
  • 5% Nightlife

How accommodating is this school to students with physical disabilities?    Based on 7 responses

  • 29% Very accommodating. The school does everything in their power to make sure the needs of every student are met.
  • 29% Pretty accommodating. The school has taken a lot of steps to accommodate the needs of students, but they've missed a few things.
  • 43% Slightly accommodating. The school has taken a few steps to accommodate students, but not nearly enough.
  • 0% Not accommodating. Students with physical disabilities are practically ignored here.

What is your overall opinion of your school and the campus community?    Based on 26 responses

  • 31% I love everything about my school and have a lot of campus pride.
  • 58% I like mostly everything about my school, but there are some things I wish were different.
  • 8% The school community is okay-we're all just here for an education, nothing more.
  • 4% I hate my school and have no school spirit.



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